June 2011

We are deeply saddened to report that Christopher LaForce, a commercial fisherman from Bayou La Batre, Alabama and friend of Bridge The Gulf, passed away last week on his shrimp boat.  He was 44 years old.

Christopher was a passionate, outspoken advocate for commercial fishermen, especially in the wake of the BP disaster.  "I wasn't raised to bite my tongue," he said last Fall, "This is our life."

How many family fishermen will be put out of business in the Gulf of Mexico, before NOAA's inept handling of the BP oil/dispersant disaster is investigated?  The fishing families, coastal communities, marine life and the natural resources they depend on for survival, continue to suffer through the largest oil disaster and ill-conceived cleanups in the history of our country.  And now, these fishing families are being blamed for turtle deaths.  NOAA (National Oceanic

On Wednesday, about 300 fishermen rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge, in protest of the ongoing impacts of the BP disaster.


The rally highlighted two main issues: the low price of seafood and commercial fishermen being blamed for recent sea turtle deaths.

BP is responsible for both, they say, but fishermen are unfairly shouldering the burden.

By Zack Carter, South Bay Communities Alliance. Remarks delivered on Tuesday, June 21st at commerical fisherman Christopher LaForce's funeral.  I am privileged that Christopher’s family asked me to speak today to help us honor the legacy he leaves for us. Indeed I am humbled to speak today because I know there are so many of you all that have known and loved Christopher La Force much longer than I.

For the past two and a half weeks, floodwaters from the swollen Mississippi River have been diverted into the Atchafalaya River and into communities in Louisiana's "Cajun Country" to the south of Baton Rouge and southwest of New Orleans.  The Louisiana Environmental Action Network and award winning chemist Dr. Subra have been tracking the impacts of the flooding.  Here is Dr.

When members of Congress want to figure out what’s really going on in the Gulf these days, it’s easy to tell if they just want to make political statements or get to the truth of the matter.

This week political statements ruled the day. Rep Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, turned tradition on its head by first trotting out Gulf politicians and businessmen intent on bashing Obama administration oil drilling policies. The man responsible for ensuring drilling safety was allowed to speak---last.

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